Tags 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: A tougher looking electrified crossover Share your voice 2019 Lexus LS 500h review: Full-size hybrid offers luxury with tradeoffs 2019 Mercedes-Benz S560e: Luxury cruising with an electric edge Toyota Lexus More From Roadshow 2018 Honda Accord: Turbo engines, sharper design and more space Lexus Toyota Comment Car Industry Hybrids 1 62 Photos Enlarge ImageToyota’s factories in Alabama and Kentucky are about to get a big cash injection from HQ in order to offset potential tariffs. Toyota Toyota has big plans in America, and to accomplish them it will be investing $749 million into its various US manufacturing facilities in addition to creating jobs for 586 people according to a report published Thursday by Reuters.What could Toyota be planning that would have it ready to whip its checkbook out for a significant chunk of a billion greenbacks? More hybrids. Duh. This is Toyota we’re talking about, so of course it’s more hybrids. It also plans to ramp up its US-based engine production, presumably to help with that whole “more hybrids” thing.But, business being business and politics being what they are right now, it also seems likely that Toyota’s expansion of its US production is a show of allegiance to the powers that be in hopes of staving off increased tariffs on the goods that it imports from Japan. As The Dude says, “You gotta feed the monkey, man.”Keep in mind that Toyota and Mazda announced last year that they’d be teaming up on a $1.6 billion plant in Alabama and way back in 2017, it pledged to invest $10 billion by 2022. It then bumped that number recently by an additional $3 billion, of which Thursday’s announcement is a part.Toyota committed to putting the money from Thursday’s announcement toward an additional 230,000 engines’ worth of capacity at its current Alabama plant by the end of 2021, and it will also add new four- and six-cylinder engine lines to the factory. The plant in Kentucky will get a cash infusion to help it build Lexus ES and RAV4 hybrids.Toyota boss Akio Toyoda is set to give a speech in Washington, DC on Friday where presumably he’ll flaunt that sweet $13 billion figure, and we only hope he’s invested sufficiently in air horns and engaged the services of a qualified hype man on his behalf.Toyota didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani. REUTERS/Shailesh AndradeRussia’s Sistema JSFC has become the latest foreign operator to exit the troubled Indian telecom market, by selling its 10 percent stake in Reliance Communications in multiple tranches over the past few months. The Russian conglomerate has reportedly lost $ 4 billion on its investments.Sistema JSFC is believed to have decided against the idea of buying RCom’s remaining telecom assets, comprising subsea cables, enterprise business and data centres, following the divergence of opinion with the Anil Ambani-led telco.Sistema JSFC decided to exit RCom after the struggling telco recently got entrapped in insolvency proceedings. It decided against making ambitious investments in India’s brutally competitive and fast consolidating telecom market, having already burnt its fingers.In October 2017, Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) was sold to Reliance Communications in return for a 10 percent stake. RCom has also since closed down its wireless business amid plunging revenue and mounting losses due to intense competition, and operates only an enterprise business, besides running data centres and sub-sea cables.At the time of the merger of RCom-SSTL, RCom shares were hovering at Rs 80 apiece in early November 2015 but collapsed to around Rs 17 when the deal was finally completed in late October 2017.On Wednesday, it gained over 4.8 percent over the previous close to end at Rs 15.30 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange. In past months, Sistema has gradually reduced its stake in RCom. It lowered its stake to 7.09 percent by letting minority shareholders swap their shares with those of RCom in March.In April and May, it sold off a further 2.1 percent and 0.55 percent respectively in the open market, lowering its equity holding in RCom to 4.43 percent. The development was seen on the expected lines as the telecom sector in the country is witnessing a huge consolidation and stiff competition.The entry of Reliance Jio by offering attractive discounts on calls and data has violently disrupted the entire telecom markets. The competition is expected to become stiffer in the upcoming days.